Monday, May 31, 2010

Forces of the Holy Inquisition Part I: God's Motor Pool.

My first 40k army was the Witch Hunters, and man, was that a lesson in pain. You stinking Eldar players with your bright lances, and you goddamn ork players with your rokkit spam, you can rot in hell. Are you being tabled by newer codexes? Good. You get no sympathy from me. My IG army is revenge for all the times my poor girls were crushed by you Xeno bastards. Of course, it was my first codex, and it was a substandard one. Lessons learned. Anyways, on to the sexy models.

My buddy Bryan was moving to CA and gifted me four 1/35 scale M113 kits, which I set to work turning into rides for the SoB. Luckily, you could fit Immolator upgrade sprue bits to them pretty well.  Pillboxes with treads read as Rhinos, despite the fact that they're a bit larger. Having a plethora of other bits, I quickly cobbled together a pair of turrets so they could be used as Chimeras. 

Man, those 1/35 tanks were a treasure trove of bits. I had enough left over to outfit all of those IG tanks you saw months ago, but these things were the seed. I outfitted some hatches so I could use them as Rhinos, too:

And when FW put out the free update PDF to their Imperial Armour books, which were, of course, loaded with stats and points costs (you can keep the pretty photos and volumes of fluff text, FW) I had access to Repressors, which are lovely armed pillboxes. More fire points, built-in dozer blades, storm bolters, AND heavy flamers? Yes PLEASE:

Didn't I say four kits? Yes I did. One of them became an Immolator:

Dunno why they say it can only carry 6 sisters. There's room inside that chassis for plenty of girls, not to mention the driver and so on. We don't need to carve out generator room for Lascannons, ammo space for TLAC's or any of that. We do, however, unwisely store our accelerant tanks on the hull. That should be a no-no, but it looks cool on the model, so we'll let it slide. The last kit became something else entirely:

I might've gone a little overboard. Man, just look at thosee long, long barrels on those twin-linked multi-melta sponsons. Of course, now you can just explain it away as this thing being a Redeemer with Flamestorm cannons (and that one had BETTER make it into the next WH codex, GW. Are you listening? ). I don't if long smoothbore barrels help the range or penetration of a multi-melta any, but they should. Anyways, it makes a nice ride for my Inquistor, and dwarfs a Rhino kit any way you slice it. Oh ,and if you needed proof it's a LR and not just an over-armed Rhino:

Assault ramps! Don't forget your Angelus-pattern M-16 on the way out, trooper. 

Yeah, that's right, your Inquisitor can ram his way into a building, assault out the front, and his loyal followers can breach right through the tank like it's a boarding torpedo. All that, and the heavy bolter turret's line of sight isn't blocked by the door. 

My first Exorcist was a towering, ungainly monster made out of the remains of an old AT-AT kit. Talk about being too tall and imposing for what it did. Check out that twin-linked pintle-mounted grenade launcher. What the hell was I thinking when I did that? I suppose it might make a neat custom command vehicle nowadays. If I could attach some Lascannon sponsons it'd make a cool Land Raider Helios. 

Last came this little fellow, modelled as another Exorcist. Really, I should've had the forethought to mount that missile launcher forward, so I could use the thing as another Immolator/Repressor, too. Oh well. (sharp eyes will notice the missile box is from an old, old G.I. Joe toy) The Sisters have been relegated to a support role for the IG, now. I hope they aren't going to be nerfed too badly by the PDF that's coming out....

Friday, May 28, 2010

More Macragge Madness....

Finished off that Macragge set. Above are the Gaunts, painted in Leviathan colors. What? You say Leviathan wasn't at Macragge? No worries, neither were the Angels of Flame. My hat's off to you people who paint the Gaunts by the hundreds. All those curves and spikey bits are a tremendous pain in the ass to keep consistent. I dropped the red claws and guns b/c frankly, it looked gay in the color guide and I liked the menacing dark bits better. 

Some new-school Genestealers romping into combat alongside their wimpier brothers. I was tempted to push for the grey-pink paint scheme worn by the classic Space Hulk stealers (hey! I never posted mine, did I? Huh, better fix that ). God only knows what Tyracron  version will look like. I could do head swaps on a test model and paint it with metallics, I guess...

Nasty little spore mines. I suppose I should think about some for my Harpies to shit all over the enemy too. Not that they'll be around long when the Harpy does a wing-over and dives into close combat.

The nasty Tyranid land features. I stuck with the dark carapace/purple flesh look (black drybrushed with purple and washed with Necron Abyss)  If you did a whole battlefield like this, it'd be awful grim, not to mention those unearthly fleshy bits. Yeesh. 

The crashed Aquila lander. Poor Aquila, just broke up as it slammed into the ground. Really a nice bit of terrain as far as GW stuff goes. I was tempted to paint stencil numbers on the wings, tail and all, but with painting burn streaks and dust weathering, you wouldn't have been able to see them anyway. As an aircraft design, it's kinda meh, but then, Forge World needs some better aircraft designers, because honestly? Theirs are shit. There, I said it. 

Another Aquila shot. from this angle, it looks rather forlorn, all chin-down in the sand. Really what I needed for these photos to really carry off was some sand-color felt, but oh well. You get the idea. 

The Imperial doodads from the set. That engine core-thingie looks way too intact for having just come through a crash. I guess Imperial stuff really is hardier than it looks. I started jonesing for scenery whilst painting these last bits, and might undertake a project to dress up either the 40k or Dark Heresy table sometime soon. 

Here's hoping they don't entirely nerf the Sisters and Grey Knights when those PDF's come out...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Busy Bee...

Working on a commission this week; someone wanted me to paint up their Battle for Macragge boxed set, so I set to it. Instead of a mainstream chapter, the client picked the Angels of Fire, which he found in some obscure corner of the GW site. The A of F paint scheme is a smoldering crimson decked out with flaming shoulders and no angel iconography to speak of, so that's what I did. During the course of doing ten marines like this, I realized something:


It's annoying, it's time-consuming, and I don't like to do it. Hopefully once he plays the missions in the book a few times, he'll decide he wants to play an army that doesn't go to antique hot rod car shows for its paint jobs. This isn't to say I hate painting actual things on fire, like the ubiquitous banner-pole torches, gaslights, etc, but flame graphics? Yeah, they take as long to painstakingly paint as the entire marine model themselves.

Thankfully I have more latitude with the other bits of the set, namely the Imperial Pilot, the Nids (soon to come in Leviathan colors) and the wreckage. Because the blue coat/white pants fleet look is kinda blah, I instead went with the classic brown/khaki WWII look.  To complete the retro look, the 'Nid samples are safe and sound in those coppery vials and steel case. This mini makes me jones for the old Rogue Trader days when they cranked out character miniatures, not just machine-stamped legions of mass-slaughter, especially considering the demands of a more character driven game like Dark Heresy. I truly wonder how FFG's sales are, given that people at one time were clamoring for some kind of 40k RPG. (oh Inquisitor, you poor bastard stepchild, you don't count, so sorry) . 

Speaking of DH, I might as well feature more Inquistion stuff. You've seen the length and breadth of my IG and SM armies, and quite honestly, Grievous and the Tyracrons are in limbo until I can secure some parts, soooo..... in the coming weeks, get read for a walk on the zealous side of the Imperium. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fast Attack! Part 2: Bikin' It!

Did I mention my Ultramarine army was taking shape in fits and starts? Really, that was more when I was flush with extra cash and little spare time. Now that the opposite is true, I can start polishing whole sections off in short order. As you can see, they're shaping up to be quite the opposite of my IG army with its static guns and huge, plodding war machines. Indeed, they're shaping up to be quite spry.  You all recognize the Master of the Forge with his bigass Warbike, right? Looks right at home next to his two-wheeled fellows. 

No, that isn't a mirror image. I got these guys for a song, and rather than have both gunners blasting away with their bolt pistols, I had them synch-targeting their multi-meltas with those binocs of theirs. No sense in wasting perfectly good bodies with just attack bikes, now is there? Personally, I like the look of the old, retro bikes better than the new square ones. Of course, not long ago on another forum someone (rather wisely) pointed out that bikes, especially with sidecars, are terrible for broken terrain. 

Flying speeder bikes, on the other hand, are awesome for broken terrain. Some of them were assembled from separate bits auctions, and others were bought whole. Most were fitted with comparatively new plastic bikers, which required a bit of shaving to fit properly. Just who is that techmarine going to crown with that wrench, I wonder? Man at the speed those things fly, that's gonna hurt. There are two of them in that formation, along with a Medic brandishing his surgical tool and a Chaplain leading the way. 

This chaplain was the seed that started it all. I hated the design of the handlebar-less, prow-less Bullock model bike, and made the former from some bits and a cannon barrel, and the latter from a pair of pilgrim shields. That back banner is going to generate some tremendous drag when he's racing along, though, but honestly, he looks cool, so who cares. 

Of them all, this one required the most work. It came to me as the front section, with the handlebars and bolter sheared off. Cheap at the price, so I set to work rebuilding the front with green stuff and a little bolter bit left over from a plastic bike. Then it was on to the rear half, which was a labor of love:

Okay, so I had the undercarriage of a metal Eldar jetbike in my bits box (I'll post the mecha the rest of it went to on a more mecha-centric post). The thrusters are cannon muzzles from an old Battletech Annhilator. As with my other pre-Heresy relics, the metal bits are a nice archaic brass/copper scheme. Basing them's always fun:

The veteran of some ancient battle from days gone by, still brandishing his shield. Don't envy the view he has now:

That heavy-gauge paper clip holds the jetbike up nicely, and won't break like those squirrely plastic rods GW pushes do all the damn time. (I'm not bitter). Of course, some of the posts might be a little high to allow for cover, but I can always cut 'em back a bit. 

With two bike squadrons and four land speeders, do I even need assault marines? 

Hell yeah I do. Especially if I want to run a "Blue Angels" list with Storm Ravens...... 

Monday, May 10, 2010

On the bench...

The General's taking shape. Those arms are loosely inserted with pins for now, and the second set... well gravity wouldn't let them stay in for this shot. Just to see if I could, I made a second bonesword out of green stuff. As it turns out,  I hate the hell out of it, so as soon as those clear rods I ordered come in I'll be making some hybrid-looking lightsabers for him. He will, of course, be bone white with metal parts. I almost fashioned him a long, trailing loincloth to hide the 'Nid tail nub before saying "to hell with it" and hacksawing it off. On the one hand, the Necrons are rather ceremonial and pseudo-ancient egypt, but a long loincloth covered in glyphs would get in the way of Grievous hack 'n' slash style. He was never the ceremonial type anyway.  

Because I find chicks with guns a huge turn on (also, I have no models with melta guns) , I ginned up some melta girls for my AdMech army. I went against my own open-arm-carry pose rule as it pertains to female figures, however. The model simply didn't allow for it,  and those melta guns are rather large and heavy. If I make another set, maybe I'll mount the guns on servo arms with some kind of look-and-fire rig. 

These Dark Age Banes were originally holding up their panzerfaust/maces like protest signs, so I clipped and remounted the arms, hiding the shorn edges with those Astartes shoulder pads. Later on they'll be adorned, of course, with the cog motifs and livery of the Mechanicus in general and my Skitarii regiment in particular. Speaking of which, that ancient AT-AT toy in the garage is staring at me, longing to be turned into a Reaver or Warlord. Dammit, where would I store the bloody thing, and when would I use it? Must resist and dive into Tyracron project again...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fast Attack! Part 1: Land's Speeding.

I'm building my Marine army in bits and pieces on the cheap, and that means hunting for deals and/or making gold out of other people's trash when I can. To that end, I only have one stock speeder, seen top right in this photo. The rest.... well, the rest are motley crew indeed. 

My first kit, as it were, is this thing, made possible by a friend of mine offering a bits box delve as payment for painting a regiment or two of his dwarves. You'll notice the hull isn't exactly STC-standard. It is, in fact, the product of a torn up speeder upper hull and a 1/35 scale jeep, which fit together almost as if they were made for each other. The rest of it made itself, from those wicked forward intakes to the missile pods from some forgotten aircraft kit he'd never assembled. "Go for it man, take your pick." Bryan had said. 

As you can see, it bulks bigger, rides lower, looks meaner. I always thought GW never knew what the hell it wanted out of the landspeeder design, and that it might even change with the advent of new codexes (arguably, it did, into the Storm Raven lol). Anyway, the Typhoon got the usual treatment of paint and script and made it into my air force, followed by the stock kit I got off eBay for  a song. 

I wonder how GW explains the thing touches down with that weird sensor mast thing on the bottom? Shouldn't it be up top for the same reason as the current-model Apache helo's? Oh well. It's fail and I almost sawed it off anyway. Still no visible landing gear on the thing. Maybe they'll fix that (among other things) for the Ultramarines movie. 

One of the big trends out there right now is pre-Heresy builds, and personally I've always liked the older open-cockpit design of the mk. 1 models (not to mention the nice heft of a brick of metal). I got these two as a combination of three or four bits lots, one after the other, over months. The mk. 1 Landspeeder was another one of those models I'd always wanted from the old late '80's but never bought, so now was my chance. 

Yes, those are Sentinel pilots, converted to Marines by virtue of green stuff and extra shoulder pads. Of course, I kept the steering controls and leather helmets, because I thought they looked all old-school and arcane compared to the new Marine stuff. I rebuilt the engine sections from metal and plastic bits, sealing them to the chairs and center section with green stuff and CYA glue. I decided pre-Heresy elements in my force would have a coppery-with-brassy-fittings look to show they were from an earlier time. 

The Mechanicus have upgraded this speeder with a current-model multi-melta. Those chairs and pilots are from the old mk 2. model with the dorky-looking sloping front on it, a design I absolutely hated. The sloping front looked half-assed, and the stubby wings didn't do anything for me, so I skipped the other bits the seller was offering and just got the pilots and their seats. 

So, you tell me, two squadrons of two enough? I see list builds spamming speeder squadrons, but I always thought you needed some bikes in there, too, somehow.